Do rankings reflect research quality?
AbstractPublication and citation rankings have become major indicators of the scientific worth of universities and determine to a large extent the career of individual scholars. Such rankings do not effectively measure research quality, which should be the essence of any evaluation. These quantity rankings are not objective; two citation rankings, based on different samples, produce entirely different results. For that reason, an alternative ranking is developed as a quality indicator, based on membership on academic editorial boards of professional journals. It turns out that the ranking of individual scholars based on that measure is far from objective. Furthermore, the results differ markedly, depending on whether research quantity or quality is considered. Thus, career decisions based on rankings are dominated by chance and do not reflect research quality. We suggest that evaluations should rely on multiple criteria. Public management should return to approved methods such as engaging independent experts who in turn provide measurements of research quality for their research communities.
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Volume (Year): XIII (2010)
Issue (Month): (May)
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rankings; evaluations; universities; scholars; research quality;
Other versions of this item:
- Bruno S. Frey & Katja Rost, 2008. "Do Rankings Reflect Research Quality?," IEW - Working Papers 390, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Katja Rost, 2008. "Do Rankings Reflect Research Quality?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2443, CESifo Group Munich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Katja Rost, 2008. "Do Rankings Reflect Research Quality?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-22, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
- O38 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
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